The Scottish Conservatives recently used one of its business slots at Holyrood to warn that major infrastructure projects, such as upgrades to the A77, are at risk after the SNP entered into cooperation with the Scottish Greens.

As part of its manifesto in the run up to May’s elections, the Greens said they would “cease funding road building projects that add capacity to the network” adding the party would “redirect funds toward safety improvements, maintenance of existing infrastructure, public transport, cycling and walking”.

At a debate last week, the Conservatives asked the SNP to decide whether they will side with the Greens or back funding being used for roads infrastructure.

An independent report, commissioned and published by Transport Scotland in September, insisted that demand for roads must be cut if Scotland is to meet its net zero commitments by 2045.

The report said that substantial behaviour change is required on car travel, regardless of the scale of a move to electric vehicles.

South Scotland MSP Brian Whittle spoke of the A77’s importance and he described the view that road building was always bad for the environment as a ‘myth’.

He said: “Time and again communities in the South West have been promised improved roads by the SNP, and that investment has never come.

“Now, in collaboration with the Scottish Greens, they’re trying to find more excuses to avoid bringing roads like the A77, A71 and Bellfield Interchange up to a standard fit for the 21st century.

“Upgrading these roads can not only deliver much needed safety improvements, but also reduce congestion in towns and villages, improving air quality. It also presents an ideal opportunity to future proof the routes by installing the infrastructure for electric vehicle charging points and even hydrogen fuelling stations.”In their rush to sign up to the Scottish Greens simplistic and naïve approach to reducing emissions, the SNP are risking the future of communities and businesses in rural Scotland.

“Improving Scotland’s road network can benefit the environment if it’s done in a sensible way and I’m determined to make these much needed upgrades happen.”

South Scotland MSP Sharon Dowey called on the SNP to commit to an upgrade for the A77, she said: “The SNP have neglected the A77 for fourteen years, and they’re continuing to sit on their hands when it comes to the state of Scotland’s roads. Even in Road Safety Week the SNP refuse vote for vital repairs which would reduce the number of accidents on the A77.

“This SNP-Green government are treating Scotland’s drivers with utter contempt by refusing to upgrade these essential roads. The SNP are aware of the safety issues with the A77, and yet they continue to turn a blind-eye to them.

“With hundreds of new homes soon to be built along the corridor of the A77, the road is only going to get busier. If the road isn’t repaired and dualled, there will be a build-up of traffic, creating longer waiting times and an increase in fumes.

“There have been a series of fatal accidents on the A77 in the last five years. Each death is a tragedy and easily avoidable if the necessary improvements are made to the road. Until the SNP stop listening to their Green cronies in their coalition of chaos, the A77 will continue to pose a risk to drivers and cause unnecessary deaths.”